50for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to then and said, ”Take heart: it is I. Do not be afraid.” Mark 6:50
Even for seasoned “sailors” (at least for Peter, Andrew, James and John), this must have been a frightful experience. They were out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee in the middle of the night. Jesus had “made them get into the boat” (v. 45). He “saw them struggling” to “make headway” for the “wind was against them,” but seemingly let them flounder.
Instead, He waited. And He prayed. Finally, finally He showed up in the “4th watch of the night” (somewhere between 3:00 am – 6:00 am!).
In other words, Jesus let them strain and struggle for up to 9 hours in that perilous sea, in that precarious boat! Why did He wait so long? Why was He up on the mountainside praying when He should have been doing something more “useful,” like bailing them out?
To test their faith and teach them (and us?) a lesson in trust. This story teaches us that “storms” do happen, sometimes terrible storms, even in the lives of believers; committed, consecrated, dedicated believers.
What happens next is crucial: “Then He climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.” That was how Jesus rescued them.
When you’re “in the same boat“ with Jesus, you’ve got it made, even if that “boat” is a hospital bed or nursing home bed! Even when we don’t see Him, Jesus is there to be at our side.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for being with me in the storms of life. Speak to my heart: “Don’t be afraid. It is I. I am with you – always. Amen.
Contributed by Paul Peckman